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Family Holidays in Fujairah

Fujairah for families

Known for its gorgeous natural beaches and subtropical seas teeming with colourful creatures, the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula is one of the best places for a sun, sea and sand-filled holiday. As the only emirate facing onto the Gulf of Oman, and with a clutch of fabulous child-friendly resorts, Fujairah is one of the region's prime family holiday destinations. As well as a wide selection of watersports, snorkelling and diving, Fujairah has some great sightseeing spots including notable mosques, castles, souks and natural marvels.

Family activities and attractions

Simply having fun splashing about in the water is the most obvious way for families to enjoy holidays to Fujairah, while the fine clean sand is perfect for bucket-and-spade days. The range of ways to enjoy the inviting warm waters of the Gulf of Oman is seemingly endless. Adventure Sports, based at the Miramar hotel, offers thrilling doughnut and banana boat rides, as well as water-skiing and parasailing for older kids and snorkelling trips for the whole family. Visitors staying at the southern end of Al Aqah beach near Sandy Beach Hotel should not miss a chance to paddle out to Snoopy Island and snorkel among the schools of subtropical fish.

One of the pleasantest ways to see Fujairah's coast is to join a boat tour on a motorised sightseeing vessel or on a graceful traditional dhow. Most cruises take in the UAE's east coast but the scenery becomes all the more dramatic as you head north to the Musandam Peninsula, and there's a chance of spotting marine life such as pods of dolphins and sea turtles that make their nests on the region's deserted beaches. To explore the mountainous hinterland, wadi-bashing safaris through scenic valleys in a four-wheel-drive is enormous fun and the panoramic views from the top of the wadis are sensational. One of the most popular is Wadi Wurayah, which is part of a protected area and encompasses a small waterfall and pools for paddling and swimming.

Families who like to get a feel for a place should not miss a day exploring Fujairah City to experience authentic local culture and Arabian architecture. Though the city is mostly a grid of modern buildings, it's worthwhile stopping by the giant Sheikh Zayed mosque and the medieval mud-brick Al-Bidyah mosque before visiting Fujairah Fort and the surrounding heritage village.

Fujairah City also has a handful of shopping malls similar to those found in Abu Dhabi, and Fujairah Central Mall has a kids' entertainment complex called Fun City that's ideal to keep kids amused while parents browse the shops. The centre includes a cinema, bowling, arcade games and a playground among other facilities. For more traditional shopping experience, the family can browse the city's souks. There is also a night souk on Fujairah's seafront corniche that features stalls selling local wares and food, a funfair, games, camel and donkey rides and live entertainment.

Kid-friendly resorts

There are a handful of really special family hotels in Fujairah where you can enjoy great facilities, food and activities. At the top of the pile is Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, which is a luxury family hotel fronting onto Al Aqah's sands with a kids club for children aged 4-16, along with a children's pool and a varoed activity programme. Though the resort has triple rooms and offers extra beds, families who need more space can book interconnecting accommodation.

Less imposing than Le Meridien, the Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort has more of a village feel, spread out in low-rise buildings with lush grounds and interiors embellished with distinctly Arabian accents. The hotel has a good kids club and indoor play area and families can enjoy a myriad of fun activities offered by the on-site Adventure Sports team. Speed boats pull along a range of inflatable water crafts such as banana boats and doughnuts and you can try exciting activities such as parasailing, water-skiing, jetskiing and wakeboarding. The aqua centre also offers snorkelling excursions to offshore Snoopy Island and sailing trips.

Beyond Al Aqah beach, the Radisson Blu Resort is an excellent choice for families visiting Fujairah, having been named the top family hotel in the UAE in the traveller's choice awards 2015. It occupies its own beach enclave near Dibba al-Fujairah and has no less than five swimming pools, a dedicated kids club and a babysitting service. There is also an on-site dive centre offering lessons for families who want to explore the underwater world. If you would like to stay closer to the attractions of Fujairah City, then the Hilton Fujairah is the best option with a seafront location and typically high standards of service.

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Novotel and Ibis Fujairah have become the first hotels in Fujairah to receive ISO certification in Quality Management and Environmental Management. The two hotels opened in the emirate in the Middle East in 2014 and they have since demonstrated their commitment to environmental responsibilities and quality standards.

Fujairah Airport unveils multimillion dollar expansion plans in collaboration with Abu Dhabi

Fujairah International Airport (FIA) is undergoing a major expansion plan to meet the demand of the increasing tourists expected over the next few years. Working with Abu Dhabi Airports, a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) has been signed by the airport authorities, and the expansion project will include a new ATCTower, a parallel runway, and the expansion of the existing runway.